A History of Public Employees Toastmasters
Public Employees started because Tom Kuhfeld and Don Sobania took Dick
Hedman, the consummate Toastmaster seriously about having a club at the City
With all the speaking engagements Public Works and other city employees are
involved in, many can benefit from the advantages of Toastmasters.
This area (City Hall Annex and Courthouse) has many people in City, County,
District Energy and other private organization with many employees who many
be interested in joining this club. The group found a sponsor (a person with
toastmaster credentials willing to show up and lead a club). He was John
Blackstone, currently working for the Water Utility. Dick Hedman of Public Works
was our mentor. John Blackstone was a member of the Heritage Toastmasters
at the Army Corps of Engineers. Dick Hedman was member of a Toastmaster
club in Minneapolis.
Once the Toastmaster club was started at the City Hall Annex, there were no real
problems in getting 20 people to join in order to “charter” the club. With the
connections the core members had, the club experienced a number of outside
employees who became members and influenced the group with diversity.
Mayor George Latimer came to our charter party. We were chartered as Public
Employees Toastmasters in June of 1989. Up until the present time Public
Works Department employees have been the main group from which this club
has received its members, but the diversity has grown as the club has continued
As manager, Tom Kuhfeld and Don Sobania were in a position to encourage
several employees like me (Duane Jagiello, Charter member) to take the plunge
and practice speaking which our jobs required. I owe those folds for instilling in
me the desire to enjoy my work, especially by improving my communication
skills, which will last a lifetime.
Now it is your turn to learn more about improving your communication skills.
Remember, it will last a lifetime as well as some good times along the way.
Duane Jagiello, Charter member
October 20, 2005